Sunday, November 06, 2005

The value of a human life.
This is an annoying factor in debates. You will say that something isn't worth the money since you're spending a billion dollars for one human life. Than the usual response is " You're so evil a human life is priceless." In fact human life is probably valued by peope at $1,000,000 a year including the discount rate I'd guess. Also by Katrina the view has now come up that we should have spent the two billion to stop the hurricane it seems like it costs 200 billion dollars and 10 billion in human life damges (ten years a person.) However this ignores the rate of return on money which on the stock market is about 1.07 over an average of 150 years between hurricanes your expected real cost on the 2 billion is 2 billion times 1.07 to the 75 power which comes out to around 319 billion dollars which means building this levee wouldn't have been the economic decision. Bird flu on the other hand is an immediate danger with a high-risk of happening within the next 10 years this means the money we are spending is probably well-spent.


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